My Garden

I have a few areas to my garden. I have the front garden which is public and mostly dry and partially shaded from our four mature trees. I am expecting two of them (at least) to have to go in the next few years, so I am trying to plan for that. We have a wonderful patio surrounded by shrubs and perennials which we only just finished last year. I've stuck to some tough guys and then added in some for fun too. We have Little Princess Spirea, an ornamental Raspberry and then a Black Lace Elderberry (too cool - it survived the winter!). For the perennials there are potentilla, goldenrod, daylilies and alliums. I'm going to add some anemones to keep the alliums company and I still need something to add colour for early summer. There are also a few pots of annuals for colour. Then there are the foundation beds along the front of the house. These are more fully shaded and I've had alot of fun getting to know some of your typical shade plants. We have hostas, lungwort, bleeding hearts and vinca vines. There are also some shrubs to give the beds some winter interest. I've found that Nanking Cherry, Turkestan Burning Bush and Snowberry do quite well even in the shade. I do plant tulips every year, but they always seem to be eaten - by the bunnies or the squirrels, I'm still not sure.

In the backyard we have three raised garden beds, next to a rather weedy raspberry patch. We have the kids play set. We have a foundation bed at the south of the house under a rather mature tree. We have a large patio, a large grassy area and the garden bed at the back fence and side of the garage. I have most of my fun with perennials in the tow larger garden beds at the back. Partly because they are safe from the mischief of the rabbits (but not the squirrels), and partly because I can fuss and weed while the kids play. So far I've had the most luck with those perennials you would consider typical for a prairie garden - peach-leafed bellflower, globeflower, clematis, sedums, goatsbeard, irises, beebalm, geranium, phlox. I did just plant some lilies, lupins, delphiniums and thyme. I am very excited too how they do. When we bought the house six years ago, the entire backyard was a parking pad covered with gravel and a giant shed. The first year we built the garden bed at the side of the garage, then we built the raised beds the year after and tore down the shed (building a smaller one at the side of the house). I only dug the bed by the back of the house two years ago and then the one by the back fence I just dug up this year. So we have been pretty busy and I am quite proud. I still need to fuss with placement of things - I can never figure out how big the plants will actually get when they mature - but that is the fun of gardening!
 Lastly there is a small garden that my neighbour and I fianlly planted his past summer (2010).  It was just a weedy patch with a fence running down the middle, but we decided to remove the fence and plant some low maintenance shrubs.  I am very excited to see how it fills in over the years.  I would like to plant some perennials to fill in the gaps.